You Have Not Because You Ask Not

James (the half-brother of Jesus) wrote this to some early Christians, assuring them that in talking honestly with God about their needs they would see those needs being met as their relationship grew and progressed. (See the fourth chapter of James) We can’t promise that another person will be as faithful as God when it comes to hearing and responding, but we can rightly say this… that if we don’t communicate about our needs, they are probably not going to be met. Here is how the principle may look in a marriage.
The caring and loving response you are looking for may begin in the intimacy and vulnerability you put into the asking. It may take humility to ask. It certainly may take a risk, at least in the first few attempts at letting the needs be known. This intimate request may get ignored, or it may get mocked. The refusal may have been what you received from certain key people previously, so maybe you hesitate to ask. If you ask, perhaps you ask with your guards already up, and your hopes down. But, let’s be careful lest in fearing one rejection, we may miss acceptance.
It may be tempting to make this need for love into a power play, or a demand. Maybe toughness and shaming will make the other person love you, love you warmly and tenderly. No, that will happen about the same time as the guard dog throws a party for the neighbors.
Letting down your guards and asking for your needs to be understood and valued opens the door for another person to offer their love. The safety you want may begin with your own vulnerability, and the intimacy you want to receive may begin with the intimacy you offer. Love can be clumsy; that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Talking honestly about our needs, in a healthy relationship, we shall see those needs being met as the relationship grows and progresses. (Key word= Healthy) I am speaking, of course, of the relationship with a person who shows that they intend to love, to give, to value whom we are, and who wants to be loved by us in the same way. I am speaking of the person who will respond to our intimacy and vulnerability with intimacy and vulnerability of their own. But I must be willing to take the risk, again and again, to approach and engage this one who has accepted me. If I am in a relationship with someone who lovingly hears, who thoughtfully considers me and creates space for me in their life, and yet I fail to communicate, then I have not because I ask not.
The caring and loving response you are looking for may begin in the intimacy and vulnerability you put into the asking.

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